The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Should death penalties be illegal?

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/5/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 676 times Debate No: 61301
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)




First round is to accept; there are 4 rounds total. Good luck!


I accept your challenge, this should be interesting.
Debate Round No. 1


First of all, death penalties are abolished by law in 139 countries including Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote D'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome And Principe, Senegal, Serbia (including Kosovo), Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela and more.
At the end of 2007 the UN General Assemby adopted a resolution establishing a moratorium on executions with the goal of abolishing the death penalty. The resolution recalled the relevant provisions found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. According to Article 3 Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 6 clearly states:
1.Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.
2.In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes in accordance with the law in force at the time of the commission of the crime and not contrary to the provisions of the present Covenant and to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This penalty can only be carried out pursuant to a final judgment rendered by a competent court.
3.When deprivation of life constitutes the crime of genocide, it is understood that nothing in this article shall authorize any State Party to the present Covenant to derogate in any way from any obligation assumed under the provisions of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
4.Anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence. Amnesty, pardon or commutation of the sentence of death may be granted in all cases.
5.Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age and shall not be carried out on pregnant women.
6.Nothing in this article shall be invoked to delay or to prevent the abolition of capital punishment by any State Party to the present Covenant.
More evidence including the Constitution tells us that death penalties are morally unjustified. International views of the death penalty are clearly negative and the UN is trying to abolish death penalties on more countries.


While the death penalty has never been popular, it is a punishment that in most parts of the world is reserved for the worst crimes perpetrated in our societies, mainly varying degrees of murder and homicide but it is also used in some countries for drug trafficking offences. It is not a punishment that is imposed lightly by a court of law.

While the law is not perfect, over the centuries in many places the law has changed. Many common crimes committed today, at varying points in history would have resulted in the death penalty. But over the years through carefully debated changes in the law many crimes have more reasonable punishments.

Yet in all that time certain crimes, have kept the capital punishment because these crimes are so horrible that many generations of people have been unable to bring themselves to accept that these crimes of such significance that cause such outrage in the community, that they should be punished by anything less than the ultimate punishment of death only in recent years has this attitude begun to change, it is deeply ingrained in human society it will take a long time for that to change completely everywhere in the world.

I will not argue the death penalty is good or bad, it is a necessary evil, to counter those who knowingly break are most significant laws, mainly the act of taking another human beings life. Not every crime should be punished by the death penalty but some crimes still demand nothing less for the sake of justice and the protection of the community.

We could argue the human rights of individuals from an academic point of view and everyone is entitled to them. But to generalize them regarding those individuals receiving the death penalty, takes us away from the individual circumstances, which brought that individual to that situation.

The laws that individual, broke to receive the death penalty is not some obscure hidden laws designed to catch people unaware for government revenue. The laws broken are among the oldest and most well know laws in human civilization. And yet the individual still committed the act that brought them to that situation.

What of the rights of those whose lives were stolen, those who committed no crime other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time or were targeted. What of their families their loved ones, what of their right to justice?
Some crimes cannot go un punished, the death penalty has its place in the legal system, that place has changed over time, and one day it may no longer be needed but at least in my opinion we have not reached that time yet.

Ultimately what is the alternative? lock these murders up forever, paying to keep them few and looked after for the rest of their lives?

Do we take the risk or trying to rehabilitate society worst criminals giving them a second chance, letting them back into the community. I ask you this: what second chance did their victims get, what second chance will their next victims get and when will these individuals crimes be sufficient in the eyes of the law, for them to finally be stopped once and for all?
Debate Round No. 2


First of all, you have not considered the possibility that the convicted was actually innocent. Should the person be in prison, we can release him. However, we cannot bring a person back to life. There were 144 death row exonerations since 1973. Imagine the suffering their families would have to endure, especially if they died unfairly.

if the death penalty actually helped lower crime rates, I would support it. However, a July 2009 study titled "DO EXECUTIONS LOWER HOMICIDE RATES?: THE VIEWS OF LEADING CRIMINOLOGISTS" by Michael L. Radelet and Traci L. LaCock, demonstrates an overwhelming consensus among criminologists that the empirical research conducted on the deterrence question strongly supports the conclusion that the death penalty does not add deterrent effects to those already achieved by long imprisonment.

Also, you say it costs a lot to imprison someone for a lifetime. A study done be the Sacramento Bee in 1988 showed that California could actually SAVE 90 million dollars a year if they were to abolish the death penalty. So we could save money by abolishing death penalties.

Finally, there are alternatives to the death penalty. For example, there is a sentence of Life Without a Parole in California, and
3,864 people who voluntarily took this sentence. This is actually more cheaper and more effective. We could also sentence them to hard labor for life, which benefits the economy. Since people are looking away from dangerous jobs, it would be better if we made those criminals work for us without pay.

We don't have to kill people who commited crimes, unless their crimes were so severe, like killing the president.

My sources include Wikipedia and


The possibility of the individual being Innocent, is the responsibility of the investigators of the crime. The courts can only act on the information provided to them, mistakes have been made, I do not deny that point but things have gradually changed as investigation methods and evidence gathering methods have improved in recent decades. The very techniques today that are being used to prove the past wrongs, prove that the wrong people were imprisoned and executed in some cases in the past and in recent memory.

The laws regarding the death penalty are not perfect and the requirements to use the death penalty vary in the countries that it is still used in. I believe the current system is flawed and in many nations it requires reform, there should be no doubt that the person being sentenced committed the crime, if there is they should be imprisoned until evidence is produced to either clear their name or confirm their sentence.

That said I still believe the death penalty has its place in the legal system, I am not saying every crime or criminal should receive it, the death penalty should only be reserved for the very worst criminals our society has produced and continues to produce those beyond help, those too far gone to rehabilitate those who pose too greater threat to ever risk being released.

You say we should not, put people to death unless they commit a crime so severe as killing the president or a head of state, I ask you what makes the president or a head of state any more deserving of getting justice than any other member of the community? How many lives must a convicted killer take before they meet the requirements to earn the death penalty? 1? 2? 10? how many lives before they are maid to pay for their actions?

each case and circumstance is different and need to be proven in a court of law, be thankful you have the right to a trial a chance to prove your innocence. There have been and still are places in the world where you don't even get that chance that basic right.

The legal system is always changing look back at old laws and the punishments they imposed for committing them, many would be unthinkable today, only through careful considered debate can laws change.

The death penalty should always be an absolute last resort in the worlds legal systems, the sad truth is it is not always the case in every country. The law is not perfect but neither is it a simple crime that earns someone the death penalty, these are not simple criminals these are people who have in most cases willingly taken lives of others, in much more painful and varied ways than they receive on death row.
Debate Round No. 3


I admit I made a mistake when I said killing the president was more severe. However, there is one thing to point out. Why didn't you respond to some of my points? They must be true then.


I admit I missed a few of your points in round 3, I was fixed on what I felt was the most important point in your argument the possibility that some of those, who have been punished with the death penalty were not guilty, not all but some.

as for your other points from round 3:

Your point about saving money if the death penalty was abolished is from 1988 in California is a tiny bit out of date, if you Google the Prison overcrowding problem in California you will get what I mean.

I have no doubt plenty of people would volunteer for life without parole if the alternative was death, at least life in prison offers the chance of escape or time and chances to appeal your case.

But getting them to work for the community is probably not such a good idea:

While it is done with other prison inmates, they usually don't, let the ones who have committed crimes that would land them in Life in prison or death row, do work outside of the prison, due to security/being high risk to the community concerns: desperate people with nothing to lose have a higher chance of trying to escape.

As for the death penalty not reducing homicide rates, its true people continue to commit murder, but those murders who are caught and put to death never have the chance to kill another innocent person. So long as people either choose to commit crime or continue to be forced into it as there only option to survive crime will continue to commit crimes even the worst such as murder.

I accept the death penalty is not perfect, the way it is but it has its place within our legal system for it is one of the few answers to the worst crimes committed, crimes that can never be tolerated or ignored by our society.

I can see where your combing from, its not a good or popular law but personally I feel its a necessary evil, in a world that will never be perfect, at least until a preferable alternative can be found.

Since I have brought these points up at the end, not giving you a chance to give your voice I have nothing against you answering my points in the comments section and recommending anyone voting on this debate have a look at them before deciding.

Regardless this is not a popular topic for many people and I went into this debate not expecting many votes for my side of the argument. Good to see someone willing to Debate the topic though.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by harrymate 3 years ago
I think you looked at bmnoble981's profile. Mine says November 7, 2000.
Posted by MykSkodar 3 years ago
a 13 year old born in 1991?
Posted by bmnoble981 3 years ago
Truly 13? now I feel old, I could not tell based on the way you presented your points during the debate. Regardless you presented your argument very well better than some of my old classmates in High school would have in their final year, certainly better than me at your age.
Posted by harrymate 3 years ago
To bmnoble981: Thank you for debating with me. No matter who wins, I wish you good luck. (I'm only 13, by the way. )
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by browley14 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: The idea of forcing them to do hard labor is the main reason I went with pro. It is a far worse punishment then death, because death is fast, while hard labor is a slower form of killing.
Vote Placed by Hlinnerooth 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: Con was the only one to use sources, but pro had some better arguments.